First printing of this powerful collection of poetry, posthumously published after Dumas was murdered by a police officer in 1968.
Fine in fine dust jacket.
"Henry Dumas's work screams out that everything is not fine. He implores us to recognize and understand that his people are hurting and need others to care and offer help." – Hollis Wormsby Jr.
At age 32, Henry Dumas was a professor at Southern Illinois University and a rising star in the Black Arts Movement. Dumas's life was cut short at the hands of a white police officer in a New York City subway station; the officer claimed Dumas had a knife, but there were no witnesses and the records of the encounter were lost. But Dumas's work lived on: "I was impressed with his boldness of language and his boldness of breadth," recalled Maya Angelou. "[H]e had written some of the most beautiful, moving and profound poetry and fiction that I have ever in my life read," noted Toni Morrison (Beenish Ahmed). Morrison used her position at Random House to champion Dumas's work after his death, which directly led to the publication of PLAY EBONY PLAY IVORY. This is a remarkably sharp example, with original publisher's review slip.
Read more: Hollis Wormsby Jr., "Henry Dumas: Anger, Humor, Love, and Dispossession," Black American Literature Forum, vol. 22 no. 2; Beenish Ahmed, "Henry Dumas Wrote About Black People Killed By Cops. Then He Was Killed By A Cop," NPR Code Switch 1 October 2015.
First edition. New York: Random House, (1974). 8.5'' x 5.5''. Original cloth-backed red boards. Original unclipped ($5.95) dust jacket. Fore-edge machine deckle. xxiv, 136 pages. Publisher's review slip loosely laid in. Jacket with a hint of sunning to spine. Tight.
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